Classic Shortbread

Oh my, oh my, Christmas is quickly on it's way!   So many cookie recipes to share, so little time!  I thought I'd start out with a good ol' standby, shortbread.  Shortbread is so easy and so stinkin' good.  Who doesn't like shortbread, honestly?!  The great thing about shortbread is that it's good on it's own, or you can dress it up a bit.  Dip it in chocolate, add sprinkles, incorporate some flavor, mix in mini chocolate chips... seriously, endless possibilities.  And they'll all taste good because under it is the wonderful buttery shortbread.  Here's the DL...
1 cup salted butter, softened {if using unsalted butter add 1/4 teaspoon of salt when creaming butter}
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
Using mixer cream butter until smooth.  Add the sugar and beat until creamy.  Add in the vanilla.  With mixer on lowest setting gently stir in the flour, just until incorporated.
Flatten dough into disk shape and wrap up in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put rack in the middle.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.

On a lightly floured surface roll dough out to a 1/4 inch thick.  {I suggest using a marble rolling pin that has been chilled or an ice filled rolling pin.  Keeping the dough cold will aid in rolling it and make it flakier when it bakes.}
Now you can cut shapes using cookie cutters or make strips about 1 inch wide and then cut those strips into rectangles. {Above is the end result for both methods}
Prick each rectangle twice length wise using a fork.
Sprinkle the tops with a little bit of granulated sugar {or color sugar or sprinkles if you'd like}
Place shortbreads on prepared baking sheets and chill for 15 minutes {this firms up the dough so the cookies maintain their shape}.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, depending on size, or until bottom edges start turning golden .  Let cool and enjoy!

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